3 interesting financial lessons from Diana Nyad’s spectacular swim

Record-breaking long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad made history in 2013 when she successfully swam 110 miles from Cuba to the US without the assistance of a shark cage.

Her remarkable story is told in the film Nyad, which was released on streaming platforms in October 2023.

When Diana finally succeeded in reaching Key West on 2 September 2013 after four previous failed attempts, she delivered three determined messages:

  • Never give up
  • You’re never too old to chase your dreams
  • It looks like a solitary sport but it takes a team.

Read on to find out what financial lessons we can learn from Diana’s inspirational speech.

1. Set long-term goals and never give up until you achieve them

In Diana’s words, “We should never ever give up”.

Diana Nyad tried to be the first person to swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West in the US for the first time when she was 28 years old. She was unsuccessful. Defying all doubters, she resumed the challenge at age 61 and finally succeeded on her fifth attempt – at age 64.

Despite countless setbacks, including a jellyfish sting that almost killed her, important team members aborting the cause and financial struggles, she remained determined to stay the course and achieve her goal.

Diana’s story provides a valuable lesson for investors.

Setting personalised financial goals that align with your values and broader life plans could make them more meaningful and motivate you to achieve them. And taking a long-term view of investing could help you weather the storm of volatile markets.

Goal-based financial planning is a personalised approach that could help you achieve specific financial outcomes.

By taking into account your unique circumstances and preferences, a financial planner could help you create a practical action plan that keeps you motivated to achieve long-term goals such as buying a house or retiring at your target age.

Read more: 5 ways goal-based financial planning could benefit you

If you tend to plough extra money into cash savings, it might be worth considering investing some of your surplus income in assets such as bonds, shares and funds too.

Developing a long-term investment strategy could potentially deliver higher returns than cash savings, which could diminish in real term value over time if inflation rises.

And, by investing consistently over the long term, you could benefit from compounding, which may help to grow your wealth over time.

It might be tempting to sell your shares if they dip in value, but holding your nerve and remaining committed to your long-term goals, despite short-term fluctuations in the market, could help you maintain a strong investment portfolio.

Just like Diana Nyad, by setting goals that have personal meaning, holding your nerve and staying the course when faced with short-term setbacks, you could achieve your long-term financial goals.

2. Plan for the future so that you can live out your dreams

As Diana said, “You’re never too old to chase your dreams”.

Nyad started chasing her dream for the second time at 61. It took a lot of preparation, including financial planning. Lack of finances almost stopped her achieving her dream.

Planning for later life now could help to ensure that you’re in a financial position to live out your dreams and have the retirement lifestyle you want when you stop working.

There is a lot to consider when planning for your retirement. A financial planner can explain your options and ensure that nothing is missed.

Retirement planning might include:

  • Reviewing your pension to ensure that you will have enough money in later life
  • Moving some of your cash savings into investments to potentially achieve higher returns
  • Making plans for later-life care
  • Inheritance Tax planning to help you pass on as much of your wealth as possible.

Your retirement plan will depend on your unique circumstances and preferences. A financial planner could help you create a personalised plan that aligns with your retirement goals.

Read more: 3 practical reasons to work with a financial planner as you reach retirement

3. Surround yourself with a team who can help you reach your goals

A victorious Diana was quoted as saying, “it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team”.

While she swam “unassisted”, Diana was accompanied on her swim by a 35-person support team, each offering unique expertise and support.

Your journey through life is yours alone, but surrounding yourself with a team who can help you achieve your goals could make your path easier to navigate.

Just as you might turn to a doctor for medical help or a solicitor for conveyancing services, it might be worth considering speaking to a financial planner to help you manage your money.

Working with a financial planner gives you access to their expertise, objectivity and emotional support. Making the most of their knowledge and experience could boost your financial confidence and literacy. They could help you understand and explore your options, and give you the tools necessary to make a realistic plan for achieving your financial goals.

Get in touch

If you’d like to learn more about how a financial planner could help you set ambitious yet realistic goals and keep you on track to achieve them, get in touch.

Please email us at mail@delaunaywealth.com or call 0345 505 3500.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.